3 Tips for Smarter Natural Product Branding

The following first appeared on newhope360.com:

1. Your passion is what sells. Your brand is what scales.

Above everything, your passion is what people respond to. Effective branding should be focused on scaling that passion. When we rebranded Organic India, we focused on the founders’ passion to create a new business model of healing at every touch point. Create experiences that give participants the opportunity to share in what you value, know and love. By scaling passion, you create committed participants who will share your passion with others.

2. Involve participants, not consumers.

We’ve washed the word “consumer” out of our mouths with soap. For a brand to experience healthy growth, it must create participation over mindless consumption. Participants are your evangelists who self-identify with you. Create relationships through invitation and collaboration—not by generating droves of nameless, faceless numbers. It’s about creating a real, person-to-person dialogue that says, “Come on in and join the movement.”

When we rebranded Gaia Herbs, we developed the Meet Your Herbs traceability platform that invited the trade and participants alike to learn about their herbs and in the process share in Gaia’s beliefs and values. Create something that goes beyond the exchange of dollars and cents, and give people a reason to participate. Let them carry the torch and the passion spreads like wildfire. A brand with loyalty beyond price and benefits stands to be here when others fade away.

3. Stay true, even in the conventional market.

When expanding beyond the natural channel to the conventional channel, many brands think they need to compromise for those markets when trying to cater to a new audience—and in so doing lose the essence of what made them a success. Stay true to who you are. Even in Food/Drug/Mass, people will be inspired by what made you successful, not by trying to be like everybody else.

In strategic consulting with Traditional Medicinals, we discovered an organization that experienced tension between their values and what they needed to represent in the mass market. Their history revealed the solution of how to be both approachable and committed to ideals that would inform their strategy for further growth. Remember, if you want to go big, it’s still about participation. It’s your core participants who will testify to new ones. Do nothing to douse or dilute their passion.